TMG Think Tank for Sustainability
Land Governance

Land-based ecosystems are fundamental pillars of our wellbeing. However, their resilience is increasingly threatened by the growing demand for food, housing, energy and other ecosystem services. Building on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of Food Security as an overarching framework, we work to promote the rights of all land users as an important precondition for sustainable and inclusive development.  

Our work involves analyzing structural barriers that hinder land users from enjoying their legitimate rights. Together with our partners, we explore context-specific solutions and innovations to overcome these barriers. This includes supporting governments in providing the necessary services to their citizens, and supporting right holders in claiming their legitimate rights. Building on the insights gained, we support the development of monitoring tools to increase transparency and accountability within the land sector, and to track the implementation of national and international commitments. Our approach can be described as multi-level changemaking to democratize food systems, end chronic poverty and food insecurity and restoring ecosystems.

We work simultaneously across the following three levels:

  • Local level: We create space and strengthen community-based organizations and sub-national governance institutions to co-develop social innovations for land tenure security.

  • National level: We work with governments, human rights institutions, and civil society networks to support the implementation of progressive national policies, also by building on progress made in global policy processes.

  • Global level: Through our broad research and policy networks we actively engage in identifying policy spaces and agenda setting to ensure that these ideas can be taken up and integrated into formal decision making and implementation. A core focus of our work is the integration of land tenure in the implementation of the three Rio Conventions.

Land, Gender and Human Rights

Land, Gender and Human Rights

Improving rights-based land governance with innovative tools

It is broadly acknowledged that the lack of land tenure security is a key barrier, not only to improved food security and sustainable land management practices at the farm level, but also for the restoration of ecosystems and resilience to climate change. While most countries have legal frameworks in place to recognize claims to land, both at individual and community level, enforcement remains weak. Despite their significant contribution to food security, and farm-based livelihoods, women are particularly disadvantaged due to the dominance of patriarchy and other unequal socio-cultural values in determining the ownership of land and other productive resources.

Multi-level changemaking: Our approach to strengthening responsible land governance

Multi-level changemaking: Our approach to strengthening responsible land governance

Bringing together diverse actors to strengthen policies and actions on responsible land governance

This body of work builds on TMG's flagship Global Soil Week programme, which aims to enable the protection of legitimate land tenure rights in the context of land degradation neutrality (LDN) measures and enabling smallholder farmers and local communities to contribute to the implementation of the UN Convention for Combating Desertification.[DB1] A key objective of the work is to mobilize partnerships to translate global policy frameworks and targets into feasible actions at the local level and leverage action research to improve global governance agendas.

Sustainable Land Management

Sustainable Land Management

Exploring social innovations at community level to foster sustainable land management practices

This thematic strand focuses on understanding the underlying socio-political dynamics and other structural challenges that smallholder farmers face in investing in sustainable land management practices. Based on locally-embedded research with our partners in several African countries, we develop, and pilot, "social innovations" to overcome structural obstacles. By sharing the insights gained with our broader networks of partners, as well as at various multilateral processes, we also seek to contribute to a systemic understanding of the enabling conditions for scaling up sustainable land management, at both the local and ecosystem levels.

Unlocking Synergies for Women's Land Rights: Bridging Rio Conventions with Grassroots Organizations
Blog Post

Unlocking Synergies for Women's Land Rights: Bridging Rio Conventions with Grassroots Organizations

This year’s Women’s Land Rights Initiative, co-hosted by TMG Research, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, UNCCD, UNCBD and UNFCCC, brought together 50 stakeholders to interrogate the role of women's land rights within the Rio Conventions.
Haki Ardhi land rights reporting tool - A path to gender-responsive climate action
Media Coverage

Haki Ardhi land rights reporting tool - A path to gender-responsive climate action

Women face significant social and political obstacles in addressing climate impacts and the increased demand for land. Securing women's land rights is crucial for gender equality and community resilience. This is where the Haki Ardhi App comes in
Navigating carbon markets: implications for land rights and community empowerment in Kenya
Blog Post

Navigating carbon markets: implications for land rights and community empowerment in Kenya

In collaboration with Power Shift Africa, TMG Research organized a workshop in Nairobi to facilitate an exchange on the implications of carbon markets on land rights with stakeholders, including representatives from ‘affected’ communities.
Climate solutions pose novel problems for global land governance, and importantly, people's rights
Blog Post

Climate solutions pose novel problems for global land governance, and importantly, people's rights

Together with our partners Robert Bosch Stiftung and Powershift Africa, TMG organized different sessions at the World Bank Land Conference examining the pivotal role of land rights for a just transition towards a sustainable and carbon-neutral future.
Rights4Land tools revamped: accessible, comprehensive, and localized
Blog Post

Rights4Land tools revamped: accessible, comprehensive, and localized

Rights4Land tools were revamped to include human rights instruments that better suit local needs and further equip activists and governments with information critical to upholding land rights.
The Elephant in the Room. Land Governance Challenges of Climate Change Mitigation
Publication

The Elephant in the Room. Land Governance Challenges of Climate Change Mitigation

This article underscores the pivotal role of land in mitigating climate change and stresses the connection between reducing emissions and safeguarding the rights of communities.
How can the Rio Conventions accelerate just climate action?

Brochure

How can the Rio Conventions accelerate just climate action?

This social media asset helps explain what the Rio Conventions are and why they are important in the plight to ensure women’s land rights are part of just climate action.

Written by Joanna Trimble

Published on Jun 20, 2024

Participant Handbook | Leveraging Momentum for Women’s Land Right: Enhancing an Initiative for Synergies across Conventions

Event Programme

Participant Handbook | Leveraging Momentum for Women’s Land Right: Enhancing an Initiative for Synergies across Conventions

This handbook aims to serve as a guide into our exchanges and a resource to unpack some of the complex issues surrounding women’s land rights in the context of the Rio Conventions.

Written by Land Governance Team

Published on Jun 20, 2024

One Planet. One Land.

Brochure

One Planet. One Land.

This campaign calls for a fundamental shift in how we view and treat land.

Written by Joanna Trimble

Published on Jun 12, 2024

Haki Ardhi land rights reporting tool: Climate justice at hand

Info Brief

Haki Ardhi land rights reporting tool: Climate justice at hand

Our findings on women’s land rights violations speak to the power of placing justice in the hands of communities and local organizations to enhance local legal redress mechanisms and strengthen government accountability.

Written by TMG Land Governance Team

Published on May 13, 2024

The Elephant in the Room. Land Governance Challenges of Climate Change Mitigation

Article

The Elephant in the Room. Land Governance Challenges of Climate Change Mitigation

This article underscores the pivotal role of land in mitigating climate change and stresses the connection between reducing emissions and safeguarding the rights of communities.

Written by David Betge, Frederike Klümper, Jes Weigelt

Published on May 08, 2024

Haki Ardhi  – A social digital tool empowering women to protect their land rights

Info Brief

Haki Ardhi – A social digital tool empowering women to protect their land rights

TMG Research, Rainforest Foundation UK and Kenya Land Alliance developed and piloted Haki Ardhi – a powerful new tool that fosters a bottom-up monitoring and reporting of women’s land rights violations.

Written by TMG Land Governance Team

Published on Mar 21, 2024

  • The Haki Ardhi App

    A tool that enables women to report tenure rights violations and gender-based violence.

  • Monitoring the Human Right to Land

    A tool for monitoring land-based human rights violations

  • First Governor's Day with Farmers - Kakamega County, Kenya

    A novel approach aiming to bring farmers and agricultural policymakers closer together.

  • Tem Sesiabun Gorado - An innovative model for knowledge transfer

    A novel farmer-to-farmer knowledge transfer model

  • Tem Sesiabun Gorado - Un modèle innovateur de transfert de connaissances

    Un nouveau modèle de transfert de connaissances entre agriculteur·rice·s

  • Transforming food systems from the bottom up: Social innovations for soil restoration

    A conversation around land rights and agricultural transformation

  • No Sustainability Transition Without Securing Legitimate Land Rights - TMG @ COP 15

    TMG and partners bring "Rights to Land" agenda to COP 15

  • The Human Rights & Land Navigator

    A new instrument instrument for strengthening the application of the voluntary guidelines on tenure

  • The State of Land Degradation Neutrality in Madagascar

    Just Transitions towards Land Degradation Neutrality: Tenure Rights for Soil Restoration

  • Land-Food-Climate: An African-European Dialogue on Climate Resilience

    Teaser video for the "Land-Food-Climate: An African-European Dialogue on Climate Resilience" event series

  • Building Back Better and Greener with Agroecology

    A video marking the launch of the Transformative Partnership Platform (TPP) on agroecology

  • Agroecology for Adaptation - Systemic Challenges/Systemic Responses

    A video sharing perspectives from diverse experts on how to create an enabling environment to support smallholder-led innovations for climate change adaptation

20 -21
June
2024
Leveraging momentum for women's land rights: enhancing an initiative for synergies across conventions
16
May
2024
Integrating Land Tenure into Sustainable Land Management: National multistakeholder consultations to restore degraded land, boost climate resilience, and improve local livelihoods
16
May
2024
World Bank Land Conference 2024: Women’s Land Rights as a Foundation for Sustainable Climate Action
15
May
2024
World Bank Land Conference 2024: Achieving Accountability in Land Governance Towards a Just Transition
14
May
2024
World Bank Land Conference 2024: Securing Land Rights for a Just Transition Towards a Sustainable and Carbon-Neutral Future
11 -10
March
2024
UN Commission on the Status of Women: Social digital tools safeguarding women's land

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TMG Think Tank for Sustainability consists of TMG Research gGmbH, an independent, non-partisan, non-for-profit organization registered in Berlin (District Court Charlottenburg, HRB 186018 B, USt.-ID: DE311653675) and TMG - Töpfer, Müller, Gaßner GmbH, a private company registered in Berlin (District Court Charlottenburg, HRB 177576 B USt.-ID: DE306832549).

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